As a digital identity company, “trust” is front of mind to Telesign.
“We exist to make the digital world a more trustworthy place for everyone,” Chief People Officer Jamie Girouard said.
That ethos doesn’t just apply to product but also to the culture that she strives to create at the California-based company.
“Our goal is to ensure we have a culture of inclusion and trust that champions the successes and development of every Telesigner,” Girouard explained. She added that creating a solid culture at a top-line level means putting a focus on DEI efforts, positioning team members for growth and encouraging transparency.
For Girouard — who joined the company in late 2022 — empathy, understanding and getting to know colleagues at the individual level helps serve her best as a leader.
“My management philosophy is based on a few key principles, one of which is that I believe that my team does not work for me, but rather, I work for them,” Girouard said.
Below, Girouard expounds on her priorities as a leader, the philosophy that guides her approach and what’s at play for employee experience at Telesign.
To start, please describe the scope of your role.
I am the chief people officer for Telesign, and I oversee global human resources for the company. I am responsible for setting the global human capital strategies and ensuring they are aligned with Telesign’s culture and five-year growth plan.
My team and I are dedicated to creating an environment where people can thrive both personally and professionally while being supported in a culture of inclusion and belonging. I partner with the executive and HR team to ensure our global strategies continuously execute on our people-first philosophy as we strive to elevate the employee experience at Telesign.
What’s your vision for leading your team?
My vision is helping Telesign turn possibility into opportunity through market-differentiated programs that attract and retain growth-minded individuals that bring innovative ideas or solve complex problems for our customers or internal teams. Our goal is to ensure we have a culture of inclusion and trust that champions the successes and development of every Telesigner.
“Our goal is to ensure we have a culture of inclusion and trust that champions the successes and development of every Telesigner.”
How do you build team culture?
At Telesign, we have a number of initiatives in place to build team culture and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. We aim to foster a sense of belonging for employees by providing opportunities for learning, training and career advancement. We gave all our employees a yearlong subscription to MasterClass, we have a formal new-manager training program as well as catalog offerings of courses through LinkedIn Learning. Our goal is for every Telesign employee to feel they have gained new and more marketable experiences here and they are prepared for the next big opportunity — personally or professionally.
In terms of DEI, we host nine “snack-and-learn” sessions per year, which cover a range of topics like veterans’ issues, Native American history, LGBTQ+ topics and neurodiversity, just to name a few. Last year, we launched our first employee resource group — Women at Telesign — and are adding a second group this year to support our BIPOC community. Additionally, we support community service efforts in the areas where we do business as a way of giving back locally.
We also strive to maintain transparent communication throughout the organization. We have monthly all-hands meetings and, after each of these, our CEO holds open office hours where employees can come and ask questions. It’s an open forum and nothing is off the table. This type of engagement helps our people know they have access to the executive team, we have an open-door policy at all levels in the organization, and this practice helps reinforce our cultural values of trust and being authentic.
What support do you offer to allow your team to stretch their skills and grow their careers?
My management philosophy is based on a few key principles, one of which is that I believe that my team does not work for me — but rather, I work for them. It is my responsibility to help them grow and to provide them with challenges that will allow them to do so.
Additionally, I believe in the importance of an open-door policy, as I believe that any problem can be fixed if all parties are able to openly communicate. Above all, the health and well-being of my team and their families come first; without that, they cannot perform their best at work. These principles allow me to delve deeper into issues during one-on-one meetings with my direct reports, which I hold weekly, and with other members of the organization.
“I believe that my team does not work for me — but rather, I work for them.”
I focus on understanding what each individual is going through, what they need help with and what their passions and career goals are so that I can help them grow. Together, we create an action plan for development, whether that means opportunities for job shadowing, getting a mentor inside or outside of the organization, reading a book together and discussing it, attending a conference or working towards a desired certification. I think of my team as my customers — customers will always tell you what they need.
What is something exciting that you are currently working on with your team?
We are overhauling our performance management system. Performance management is sometimes the hardest thing to get right in an organization because it can be very subjective. Our goal is ensuring performance is linked back to our vision, strategy, execution and metrics (VSEM) framework, so that employees can have more tangible goals to work towards.
We are innovating new ways to recognize and reward our teams. To attract and retain high-caliber talent, we need market-differentiated programs that champion our teams’ successes, provide learning and development opportunities and contribute to our culture of being a best place to work.
We are also focusing on improving our HR functionality through the use of Workday, making it a reliable source of truth for human capital data. This will enable us to create strategic reporting and give managers better data about their teams. We implemented Workday in 2021 and now we are looking to maximize its potential.
Additionally, we are continuing to focus on DEI by providing learning and development opportunities, as well as resilience training, for our management and leadership team.
Lastly, what is the employee value proposition for those thinking about joining your company? What impact does working there have on someone’s career?
We exist to make the digital world a more trustworthy place for everyone. At Telesign, experience has taught us that the smallest ideas can have the greatest impact on safety and trust. That is not just a lot of responsibility, but a lot of possibility. Possibility is our opportunity to ensure we are built on a foundation of trust and reliability both for our customers and for our global team. We believe that individuality is your superpower, and we invite you to bring your unique talents to help Telesign innovate, get things done and defend the digital world.
“The smallest ideas can have the greatest impact on safety and trust. That is not just a lot of responsibility, but a lot of possibility.”
Telesign is stronger because of our team, and we want you to show up every day as your whole self. We encourage you to continue growing and thriving through the impact and value that you add to the organization and to the world. The fullest version of yourself is what makes our team, products and the world better but most importantly, safer.
For curious minds willing to rise to the occasion and commit to making the digital world a more trustworthy place, we have a seat for you here.